The upper Rangitaka Valley was our first destination. A brief detour via Methven to do some internet and have a coffee we arrived in the afternoon. At Lake Camp we found a neat wind protected spot to pitch our tent. The tent we bought as a second with some faults from Kathmandu (Retreat 180 in camouflage green) at a good price provides abundant space to sleep and cook. Basic stuff, no Hilleberg. The only fault we discovered was - besides its in general not perfect design - just one slightly broken but still water tight zipper.
The beef filet we had the first night (very nicely structured and marbled – why is our German filet always lean and so often tasteless?) made some nice scent in the tent that remained the other day. The beef was joined by the usual starters, sides and deserts and a (not sure at the time of writing) Hawkes Bay Merlot.
The night saw a weak form of North Western winds, still it was shaking the tent quiet well.
The upper Rangitaka Valley is not just visited for fishing but by some of these set-tourists. Tourists visiting the sets of the films I forgot the name of. We asked in the station for permission, for a small fee we got the key to a gate and of we were to the stream (the station even provides accommodation). The stream was a blast before that scenery, only very low winds, sun on the more or less clear sky. But fishing was a hard start.
I just saw a handful of fish and the only one that took my fly was lucky, as this fishing tourist on the rod handle made the number one mistake in NZ: my strike in nervous anticipation was way too early. The rule of thumb here to do the timing right is to say “Good save the Queen” before you set the hook. I better should have done that. The first blank day in a long time. A mentally challenging start in NZ SI.
But we had a really nice day on the water and in the sun under a blue sky with low winds - what to ask more for?
Another stream around there was related to a too long and unclear walk for our set up with Tobias on Ines back. So we decided to leave that beautiful valley after two nights, as the main river Rangitaka was absolutely not an option, as it was flowing in a consistence and color of diluted cement.
The autopilot was dialed in to drive us to Tekapo. The little bunch of houses with the picturesque chapel, that has no altar picture, but a panorama window towards Lake Tekapo with its turquoise water. This color is caused by the sediment of the glaciers. At Tekapo we came to the conclusion that investing in classic accommodation would not be an option, so we opted for the campground. Where we found our own penthouse stile camp site on the highest secluded level of the campground. The access is a little bit hidden so since three nights we only had one neighbor on our own private platform the size of a tennis court.